Skip to comments.Dad Still Lost As Missing Family Found Alive ( Latest on CNET Editor )
Posted on 12/05/2006 9:18:33 AM PST by george76
Searchers intensified their efforts Tuesday to find a San Francisco man missing for more than a week in a rugged, remote area of the snow-covered Oregon Coast Range as his wife and two young children, rescued just the day before, recovered in a hospital.
Trained dogs, horse patrols and a helicopter with heat-sensitive sensors were sent to join other helicopters, snowmobiles and foot patrols Tuesday for 35-year-old James Kim.
Trackers had followed his footprints until dark Monday night.
"They determined that he went over the side of the road into the Big Windy Creek drainage area and that's when the two deputies from Jackson County went over the edge and they are tracking his footprints right now," ...Tuesday morning.
"There are some cliffs they may have to go down to get down to the creek.
And there's still snow and ice, cold temperature, but they've been out all night and they plan to be out all day. And their hope is to find him today," ...
Kim...had left his wife and two young children in their frozen, snowbound car and set off into the wilderness to seek help, wearing only tennis shoes, a sweater and a jacket.
State Police Lt. Gregg Hastings said Kati Kim told a detective the family intended to take Oregon 42, the usual route from Interstate 5 to the south Oregon coast, but they missed the turnoff, found Bear Camp Road on the map and decided to take it instead of turning back.
Their car was 15 miles from Bear Camp Road when found.
The complicated network of roads in the area is commonly used by whitewater rafters on the Rogue River or as shortcuts to Gold Beach in the summer, but the roads are not plowed in winter and can be impassable.
(Excerpt) Read more at thedenverchannel.com ...
In the wilderness, you can't rely on maps to the point where you lose control of the situation, or let reliance on technology override prudence and common sense.
Lose control of the situation, and the situation controls you.
If only they could have found a Spotted Owl to kill... now THAT would have gotten the immediate attention!
Yup. I agree. They are saying these people were clever? I dont buy into that. They had the means to light their car tires and not the means to find firewood and use that?
Then take off cross country instead of following the road? Something doesnt quite add up..
He should have stayed where he was, and maybe done something to attract attention, like if you had the means, burn the spare tire setting off a column of black smoke.
This would be a good time for the Oregon State Police Lt. to stop repeating that the removed pants is a possible sign.
Lots of city people ( when they become lost in the future ) may start leaving their clothes behind...as a sign.
The state police should offer a better list of recommendations of what to do when lost in the woods.
We all wish the best for him and his family.
We hope that he is found by the searchers soon.
The fact that he has not identified himself with four helicopters above and with hundreds of searchers also making lots of noise on the ground ( after 4 days ? ) is not a good sign.
The helicopter pictures of their car shows lots of trees near-by.
One could have found lots of dry branches and some small dead trees to build a large fire on that dirt road. The fire could have been going 24 hours day and night.
The smoke would have been seen by passing airplanes in the day time and flames at night.
Plus the warmth would have been helpful.
The point of the above is not to be critical, but to help some lurker here who may get lost in the future.
I have a job very similar to this guy's - slightly more technical, I can build you the next myspace, but I don't know if I could build a fire in the wild.
I too enjoy Bear Grylls.
I have sometimes wondered if it would be possible to carry enough spare parts to prevent the possibility of such breakdowns. Perhaps someone could create a special vehicle with two engines.
Most people can barely manage walking at 2-3 miles per hour on pavement. In the woods, over rugged and likely hilly terrain, in snow, he would probably have been lucky to make 1 mile per hour. And keep in mind that he'd been out there for something like 6 or 7 days already, so he was already likely to be short on sleep, short on hydration, and short on nutrition. On a road or clear trail, rested, fed, and hydrated, 2-3 mph would have been more likely, but it doesn't sound like he stayed on the road for too long.
We all have our skills and interests.
I would get lost trying to understand your technical skills. It is interesting for me to watch skilled people in action.
However, I can build a roaring fire in no time even in a rain forest in the middle of a rain storm ( I have many times ). A skill that I do not use much anymore.
One of my goals here is to help the willing learn a few basic tips that may keep them alive in the future.
You are correct.
At this point, few could do much.
I was thinking that many could walk 2 to 3 miles per hour on the dirt road earlier on their disaster. He might have been able to follow his own tire tracks on the somewhat level road.
I am also trying to plant the seed for any lurkers on what to consider if they have a similar event.
Also, I was asking any local FReeper if the closest town was 15 miles away or much more. Apparently there was a cell phone tower remotely available somewhat. If so, he might have been lucky to get a signal.
Going uphill after waiting 9 days in the car short on food and water would be tough.
For any lurker, please consider staying on the road and avoid the temptation of taking a short cut...unless you are a skilled mountaineer. Even many mountaineers die in the back woods.
Does anyone know how far from the last town they passed their car was found?
His best bet would have been to backtrack by the route they followed in, assuming he could remember the turns that got them there. That would have kept him on roads, more likely to eventually encounter another vehicle, and ultimately, get him back to the main road. If he ventured into that creek/valley as the current reports suggest, and into an area with large cliffs, etc., I think the odds that he is still alive are extremely low. Given his attire (jeans and sneakers, no hat, as far as I have read, combined with cold and damp), hypothermia would have taken him down pretty quickly.
But miracles do happen, and maybe he has managed to survive somehow.
Earlier in the disaster, he should have been able to follow his tire tracks...even if he could not remember the turns that he took.
Traveling cross country can be very tough physically and mentally...even for experienced, well conditioned, and well equiped folks. Even in my youth, I rarely would try to jump over all of the dead fall, etc. with a full pack.
When I heard that he left the road for the river and the cliffs...with no hat nor any gloves...wearing cotton pants...I was very worried for him.
Searchers pulled out of the lower canyon area Tuesday night because darkness heightened the risk. Anderson said searchers checked Black Bar Lodge, a popular summer spot along the Rogue that is closed in winter. They found no sign of him there.
Anderson said he does not know why Kim went into the drainage area. "I hope to have the opportunity to ask why he did that,"
Precipitation was forecast for Friday with temperatures expected to drop below freezing in the valleys and settle in the high 40s on ridges.
You are correct: Stay with the car. A big car is easier to spot from the air than your little body. It's also, at the very least, some form of shelter. It might not be as warm as you'd like, but it's still warmer than a snowdrift; especially with more than one person inside. There are also things and materials in a car that can be used to signal rescuers. Tear a mirror off and you have a signal mirror. Cut the spare tire off of its rim, toss it into a fire (that you started using the car's lighter), and you have a nice, smoky signal fire.
I hope and pray that I'm wrong, but I think that they're gonna find this poor guy deader than dead; if they find him at all.
No further information at this time per local television.
It's official, Kim found dead
KGW Stream (heartbroken announcement by Sheriff Anderson)
God bless those that searched so hard for him